Apromised investigation by new Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane might shed light on how the Jerry Sandusky investigation was handled by Gov. Tom Corbett.

Specifically, we'd like to know if political concerns caused then-Attorney General Corbett to drag his feet so as not to anger Penn State fans and alumni as he campaigned for governor.

That question was raised by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody in October when he asked for an outside review of the investigation.

Corbett launched his gubernatorial campaign in 2009, the same year the attorney general's office received the case from prosecutors in Centre County. It took three more years to arrest Sandusky, the Nittany Lions' former assistant coach.

Some, including the current attorney general, argue that's too long.

Corbett has angrily denied he manipulated the timing of the arrest for political gain, and Democrat Kane's probe might very well bear that out.

We certainly hope so.

But the governor's recent about-face on the NCAA's unprecedented sanctions against Penn State doesn't do much to quash the idea he would use the case and its fallout to his advantage.

Corbett, on his own, sued the association in federal court last week, saying the penalties -- a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on post-season play, a reduction in scholarships and the elimination of more than 100 wins under former coach Joe Paterno -- should be thrown out based on antitrust laws.


These were sanctions agreed to by the university, which has no role in Corbett's lawsuit.

At the time they were imposed, the governor, a voting member of Penn State's board of trustees who supported the firing of Paterno, thanked the NCAA for not killing the football program and called the sanctions part of the "corrective process" at the school.

The university's alumni association is more than half a million strong, and many members were extremely unhappy with the sanctions, as well as the way Paterno was treated (he died a few months after he was fired).

We think the NCAA perhaps was overly harsh, but the governor was right the first time: Penn State needs a corrective process.

The independent investigation commissioned by the board of trustees made that clear.

Sandusky, who was in court Thursday appealing his minimum 30-year sentence, raped or molested 10 boys over a 15-year period, sometimes on school property and on team trips.

Top administrators allegedly were aware of allegations against him but helped cover them up to protect Penn State's revered football program.

Politics should have nothing to do with this horrific case, other than to ensure it never happens again.

So what accounts for Corbett's change of heart on the sanctions, if not a vote-getting ploy by a widely unpopular governor facing re-election next year?

His spokesman Kevin Harley explained to Bloomberg News the governor simply learned more about the sanctions since they were imposed in July.

"It's not a flip flop," he said. "That's getting evidence."

And we know Corbett likes to take his time with investigations involving Penn State.